A Day after the announcement of Phantom Film’s dissolution and the subsequent exposed of its co-owner Vikash Bahl’s alleged sexual misconduct, the company’s another partner and filmmaker Anurag Kashyap has finally spoken out on the issue.
The Bollywood director-producer has accepted that he knew about the sexual abuse allegations against one of the partner of his company, Vikash Bahl, leveled by a former employee of that same company. Anurag apologized to the woman, saying he is ‘deeply and truly’ sorry for the unfortunate incident.
To justify his opinion Kashyap shared two pages of explanations after a leading daily published an article on Saturday detailing the Woman’s account of assault. Anurag stated in his two pages of long explanation that ‘they couldn’t handle it well and he cannot blame anybody else except himself’.
We have earlier reported that in a recent interview the victim, the woman crew member detailed how Vikash assaulted her on entering her room after a pre-launch party of 2015 film ‘Bombay Velvet’ and how Bahl pretended to be drunk and forced himself on her. And then when the woman protested against Bahl’s actions, he ended up masturbating on her back.
In his explanation, Anurag said that he was ‘ill-advised’ by those in-charge of the legal department. While, the company’s legal department did bar Vikash from entering the office premises, suspended him and took away his signing authority but still couldn’t fire him from the job as their contracts didn’t have any clause which will allow a co-owner to be fired on the basis of misconduct.
Anurag said that the Phantom Film’s contract did not allow him and presumably him other partners Madhu Mantena and Vikramaditya Motwane to fire Bahl from the company but they did what they could do, as Kashyap claims to have ‘named and shamed’ Bahl in the Bollywood film industry.
The ‘Super 30’ director Vikash Bahl’s alleged misconduct took place three years ago and was reported only last years ago and reported only last year. Now, almost one and a half year later the press reported on the allegations, the end of Phantom Company has been announced.
On the hush-hush rumored of Kashyap’s revealing statement to the press, Kashyap has also made it clear in his two pages of explanations, asserting, ‘while others in the industry were rumored mongering, it was him who was responsible for bringing out Vikash’s name publically by speaking out with a leading daily on an anonymous basis and the publication eventually carried out a long article about the incident, then they should know that there was nothing under wraps. The issue has been out there for than one year’ he clarified.
Furthermore, the ‘Manmarziyaan’ director said that the victim decided not to disclose the incident to him that happened during ‘Bombay Velvet’ pre launch party back in 2015. As earlier she thought that Anurag was suffering from depression himself after the film failed to do well in the box-office and was also thrashed by film critics. “She put herself to personnel hell to protect me and I couldn’t because I was unfortunately ill-advised that there was little I could do!
On the other hand, after Anurag Kashyap, another co-owner of Phantom Vikramditya Motwane also posted a tweet and broke his silence over the controversy involving Bahl, apologizing for the incident Motwane ensured a safer working environment on the sets of his films.
He clarified in his written statement that he is truly sorry about what happened with that crew member. Vikash is a sexual offender. He has preyed on a young woman, abused her trust and ruined her life. The scars are going stay and that just isn’t right’.
Furthermore, he said “The only thing I can offer now is an apology and the only thing I can say is that this will never happen again on my watch”, ensured the ‘Lootera’ and ‘Trapped’ maker.
Motwane also disclosed that the victim refrained from going the issue public and Kashyap and Subhra Shetty however tried to convince her to change her mind.
Well, now it is as clear as daylight that why the Phantom Film’s have been shut down!
The Phantom Film’s dissolution credit goes to none than the Queen director Vikash Bahl!